Friday, July 20, 2007

Hope From a Few Months Ahead

It was one of my dearest friends, who I will call J, who first told me about Chantix.

I met J in July of 1995 standing outside of a hotel at pre-departure for the best three years of my life as a JET (well, except for with Tom). We were standing out there having a smoke (and I'm sure it was J who started the conversation because he is the people-est person ever) when we discovered that we would be living in the same prefecture in Japan and became very good friends almost immediately. We had no worries about the 14 or so hour flight to Tokyo because you could still smoke on international flights (no longer the case). At each of our respective schools where we taught, we marveled that either you could smoke at your desk or there was usually a smoking room (no longer the case, I'm sure). In our unheated apartments in the winter, smoke stood in the air because we wouldn't dare open the windows to let in the cold. When we climbed Mt. Fuji just weeks after arrival, it was almost a joke that I slowed down so early in the trek because I was such a heavy smoker (how far I made it or didn't is another story for another day, but I will say that we were both miserable enough in the end that we wouldn't buy Fuji film for the entire 3 years). We did a lot of crazy fun stuff, and smoking was always a part of it somehow. Years later, back in the States, I tried quitting smoking at various points and made it over a year once (something that makes me think it was ridiculous to have gone back to smoking yet also reminds me that I can do this). I think J did the same, but most of the time over all these years we were both just smokers who knew we didn't always want to be.

Then J called me one day and said that he was taking some prescription that was making him not really want to smoke (well, except while we were on the phone - same issue as I've had), and that's when I learned about Chantix and called for a doctor's appointment (that took a month to get).

I got an email from J today. He's been up to some really fun things (because that's how he always is), and in perfect situations for those quitting smoking to fail, but he hasn't. Instead, he's coming up on 5 months not smoking, and is feeling great, and is still the most fun guy in the world. There are just fleeting urges to smoke that leave quickly, and it's gotten easier, he says. It's awesome to think that our friendship can potentially last many, many more years, even if we'll never climb Mt. Fuji again. Never. Ever.


  1. Good question, Stan. Nope, J is *not* still taking Chantix. I don't even think he bothered with the 3rd month.


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